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(p. 129) 
















TUMBLES THE SEA " . . Frontispiece 

IN VAIN! " 120 



IT is A PLOT!" 140 




HER OFF?" 1 60 


First Produced at the Savoy Theatre, London, by Mr. R. D'Oyly 
Carte, on Saturday, zznd January, 1887. 







(His Foster-Brother A Man-o' -war's man) 

(Of RuddigoreA Wicked Baronet) J 

OLD ADAM GOODHEART (Robin's Faithful Servant) . MR. RUDOLPH LEWIS 
ROSE MAYBUD (A Village Maiden) ...... Miss LEONORA BRAHAM 


DAME HANNAH (Rose's Aunt) ....... Miss ROSINA BRANDRAM 







SIR CONRAD MURGATROYD (The Twelfth Baronet) . . . MR. BURBANK 

SIR DESMOND MURGATROYD (The Sixteenth Baronet) . . MR. TUER 


SIR MERVYN MURGATROYD (The Twentieth Baronet) . . MR. Cox 




ACT I . . The Fishing Village of Rederring, in Cornwall 
ACT II . . Picture Gallery in Ruddigore Castle 

TIME. Early in the XlXth Century 




SCENE. The fishing milage of Rederring (in Cornwall). ROSE 
MAYBUD'S cottage is seen L. 

Enter Chorus of Bridesmaids. They range themselves in front 
of ROSE'S cottage 

Fair is Rose as the bright May-day ; 

Soft is Rose as the warm west-wind ; 
Sweet is Rose as the new-mown hay 
Rose is the queen of maiden-kind! 
Rose, all glowing 

With virgin blushes, say 
Is anybody going 

To marry you to-day? 


Zorah. Every day, as the days roll on, 

Bridesmaids' garb we gaily don, 
Sure that a maid so fairly famed 
Won't very long remain unclaimed. 


Hour by hour and day by day 

Several months have passed away, 

And though she 's the fairest flower that blows, 

Nobody yet has married Rose! 

Rose, all glowing 

With virgin blushes, say 
Is anybody going 

To marry you to-day? 

Enter OLD HANNAH, from cottage 

Han. Nay, gentle maidens, you sing well but vainly, for Rose is 
still heart-free, and looks but coldly upon her many suitors. 

Zor. It 's very disappointing. Every young man in the village is 
in love with her, but they are appalled by her beauty and 
modesty, and won't declare themselves ; so, until she makes 
her own choice, there 's no chance for anybody else. 

Ruth. This is, perhaps, the only village in the world that possesses 
an endowed corps of professional bridesmaids who are bound 
to be on duty every day from ten to four and it is at least six 
months since our services were required. The pious charity 
by which we exist is practically wasted ! 

Zor. We shall be disendowed that will be the end of it! Dame 
Hannah you're a nice old person ^/ow could marry if you 
liked. There 's old Adam Robin's faithful servant he loves 
you with all the frenzy of a boy of fourteen. 

Han. Nay that may never be, for I am pledged ! 

All. To whom? 

Han. To an eternal maidenhood ! Many years ago I was betrothed 
to a god-like youth who woo'd me under an assumed name. 
But on the very day upon which our wedding was to have been 
celebrated, I discovered that he was no other than Sir Roderic 
Murgatroyd, one of the bad Baronets of Ruddigore, and the 
uncle of the man who now bears that title. As a son of that 
accursed race he was no husband for an honest girl, so, madly 
as I loved him, I left him then and there. He died but ten 
years since, but I never saw him again. 


Zor. But why should you not marry a bad Baronet of Ruddigore? 

Ruth. All baronets are bad ; but was he worse than other baronets? 

Han. My child, he was accursed. 

Zor. But who cursed him? Not you, I trust! 

Han. The curse is on all his line and has been, ever since the time 

of Sir Rupert, the first Baronet. Listen, and you shall hear 

the legend. 

Han. Sir Rupert Murgatroyd 

His leisure and his riches 
He ruthlessly employed 

In persecuting witches. 
With fear he'd make them quake 
He'd duck them in his lake 
He'd break their bones 
With sticks and stones, 
And burn them at the stake ! 


This sport he much enjoyed, 
Did Rupert Murgatroyd 

No sense of shame 

Or pity came 
To Rupert Murgatroyd! 

Han. Once, on the village green, 

A palsied hag he roasted, 
And what took place, I ween, 

Shook his composure boasted, 
For, as the torture grim 
Seized on each withered limb, 
The writhing dame 
'Mid fire and flame 
Yelled forth this curse on him : 

" Each lord of Ruddigore, 

Despite his best endeavour, 
Shall do one crime, or more, 
Once, every day, for ever! 
ii Q 


This doom he can't defy, 
However he may try, 
For should he stay 
His hand, that day 
In torture he shall die!" 

The prophecy came true : 

Each heir who held the title 
Had, every day, to do 

Some crime of import vital ; 
Until, with guilt o'erplied, 
" I'll sin no more! " he cried, 
And on the day 
He said that say, 
In agony he died! 


And thus, with sinning cloyed, 
Has died each Murgatroyd, 
And so shall fall, 
Both one and all. 
Each coming Murgatroyd! 

[Exeunt Chorus of Bridesmaids. 

Enter ROSE MAYBUD/TWW cottage, -with small basket 
on her arm 

Han. Whither away, dear Rose? On some errand of charity, as 
is thy wont? 

Rose. A few gifts, dear aunt, for deserving villagers. Lo, here is 
some peppermint rock for old gaffer Gadderby, a set of false 
teeth for pretty little Ruth Rowbottom, and a pound of snuff 
for the poor orphan girl on the hill. 

Han. Ah, Rose, pity that so much goodness should not help to 
make some gallant youth happy for life ! Rose, why dost thou 
harden that little heart of thine? Is there none hereaway whom 
thou couldst love? 


Rose. And if there were such an one, verily it would ill become 
me to tell him so. 

Han. Nay, dear one, where true love is, there is little need of prim 

Rose. Hush, dear aunt, for thy words pain me sorely. Hung in a 
plated dish-cover to the knocker of the workhouse door, with 
naught that I could call mine own, save a change of baby-linen 
and a book of etiquette, little wonder if I have always regarded 
that work as a voice from a parent's tomb. This hallowed 
volume [producing a book of etiquette^ composed, if I may 
believe the title-page, by no less an authority than the wife of 
a Lord Mayor, has been, through life, my guide and monitor. 
By its solemn precepts I have learnt to test the moral worth of 
all who approach me. The man who bites his bread, or eats 
peas with a knife, I look upon as a lost creature, and he who 
has not acquired the proper way of entering and leaving a 
room is the object of my pitying horror. There are those in 
this village who bite their nails, dear aunt, and nearly all are 
wont to use their pocket combs in public places. In truth I 
could pursue this painful theme much further, but behold, I 
have said enough. 

Han. But is there not one among them who is faultless, in thine 
eyes? For example young Robin. He combines the manners 
of a Marquis with the morals of a Methodist. Couldst thou not 
love him? 

Rose. And even if I could, how should I confess it unto him? For 
lo, he is shy, and sayeth naught! 

Rose. If somebody there chanced to be 

Who loved me in a manner true, 
My heart would point him out to me, 
And I would point him out to you. 
[Referring- to book.] But here it says of those who point, 
Their manners must be out of joint 
You may not point 
You must not point 
It's manners out of joint, to point! 


Had I the love of such as he, 

Some quiet spot he'd take me to, 
Then he could whisper it to me, 

And I could whisper it to you. 

[Referring to book.] But whispering, I've somewhere met, 
Is contrary to etiquette: 

Where can it be? [Searching book. 
Now let me see [Finding reference. 

Yes, Yes! 
It's contrary to etiquette! 

[Showing it to HANNAH. 

If any well-bred youth I knew, 

Polite and gentle, neat and trim, 
Then I would hint as much to you, 

And you could hint as much to him. 
[Referring to book.} But here it says, in plainest print, 
" It's most unladylike to hint" 
You may not hint, 
You must not hint 
It says you mustn't hint, in print! 

And if I loved him through and through 

(True love and not a passing whim), 
Then I could speak of it to you, 

And you could speak of it to him. 
But here I find it doesn't do 

To speak until you're spoken to. 

[Referring to book.] Where can it be? [Searching book. 

Now let me see [Finding reference. 
1 ' Don't speak until you're spoken to" ! 

[Exit HANNAH. 

Rose. Poor Aunt ! Little did the good soul think, when she breathed 
the hallowed name of Robin, that he would do even as well as 
another. But he resembleth all the youths in this village, in 
that he is unduly bashful in my presence, and lo, it is hard to 
bring him to the point. But soft, he is here! 


ROSE is about to go when ROBIN enters and calls her 

Robin. Mistress Rose! 

Rose. {Surprised.} Master Robin! 

Rob. I wished to say that it is fine. 

Rose. It is passing fine. 

Rob. But we do want rain. 

Rose. Aye, sorely! Is that all? 

Rob. [Sighing.] That is all. 

Rose. Good day, Master Robin ! 

Rob. Good day, Mistress Rose! [Both going both stop. 

(Rose. I crave pardon, I 

\Rob. I beg pardon, I 

Rose. You were about to say? 

Rob. I would fain consult you 

Rose. Truly? 

Rob. It is about a friend. 

Rose. In truth I have a friend myself. 

Rob. Indeed? I mean, of course 

Rose. And I would fain consult you 

Rob. [Anxiously.] About him? 

Rose. [Prudishly.] About her. 

Rob. [Relieved '.] Let us consult one another. 


Rob. I know a youth who loves a little maid 

(Hey, but his face is a sight for to see !) 
Silent is he, for he 's modest and afraid 

(Hey, but he 's timid as a youth can be!) 
Rose. I know a maid who loves a gallant youth 

(Hey, but she sickens as the days go by !) 
She cannot tell him all the sad, sad truth 

(Hey, but I think that little maid will die!) 
Rob. Poor little man ! 

Rose. Poor little maid! 

Rob. Poor little man ! 

Rose. Poor little maid! 

Both. Now tell me pray, and tell me true, 

What in the world should the /y un g man j do 



Rob. He cannot eat and he cannot sleep 

(Hey, but his face is a sight for to see!) 
Daily he goes for to wail for to weep 

(Hey, but he 's wretched as a youth can be !) 
Rose. She 's very thin and she's very pale 

(Hey, but she sickens as the days go by !) 
Daily she goes for to weep for to wail 

(Hey, but I think that little maid will die!) 
Rob. Poor little maid! 

Rose. Poor little man! 

Rob. Poor little maid! 

Rose. Poor little man ! 

Both. Now tell me pray, and tell me true, 

What in the world should the (y un g man \ do? 


Rose. If I were the youth I should offer her my name 

(Hey, but her face is a sight for to see!) 
Rob. If I were the maid I should feed his honest flame 

(Hey, but he 's bashful as a youth can be!) 
Rose. If I were the youth I should speak to her to-day 

(Hey, but she sickens as the days go by!) 
Rob. If I were the maid I should meet the lad half way 

(For I really do believe that timid youth will die!) 
Rose. Poor little man! 

Rob. Poor little maid ! 

Rose. Poor little man! 

Rob. Poor little maid! 

Both. I thank you, \ 1SS > L for your counsel true ; 

Isir, J 

I'll tell that what ( h ] ought to do! 

Imaid J IsheJ 

[Exit ROSE. 

Rob. Poor child! I sometimes think that if she wasn't quite so 
particular I might venture but no, no even then I should be 
unworthy of her! 


He sits desponding. Enter OLD ADAM 

Adam. My kind master is sad! Dear Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd 

Rob. Hush ! As you love me, breathe not that hated name. Twenty 
years ago, in horror at the prospect of inheriting that hideous 
title and, with it, the ban that compels all who succeed to the 
baronetcy to commit at least one deadly crime per day, for life, 
I fled my home, and concealed myself in this innocent village 
under the name of Robin Oakapple. My younger brother, 
Despard, believing me to be dead, succeeded to the title and 
its attendant curse. For twenty years I have been dead and 
buried. Don't dig me up now. 

Adam. Dear master, it shall be as you wish, for have I not sworn 
to obey you for ever in all things? Yet, as we are here alone, 
and as I belong to that particular description of good old man 
to whom the truth is a refreshing novelty, let me call you by 
your own right title once more! [ ROBIN assents. \ Sir Ruthven 
Murgatroyd! Baronet! Of Ruddigore! Whew! It 's like eight 
hours at the sea-side! 

Rob. My poor old friend! Would there were more like you! 

Adam. Would there were indeed! But I bring you good tidings. 
Your foster-brother, Richard, has returned from sea his ship 
the Tom-Tit rides yonder at anchor, and he himself is even 
now in this very village! 

Rob. My beloved foster-brother? No, no it cannot be! 

Adam. It is even so and see, he comes this way! 

Enter Chorus of Bridesmaids 

From the briny sea 
Comes young Richard, all victorious! 

Valorous is he 

His achievements all are glorious! 
Let the welkin ring 
With the news we bring 

Sing it shout it 

Tell about it 
Safe and sound returneth he, 
All victorious from the sea! 


Enter RICHARD. The girls welcome him as he greets 
old acquaintances 


I shipped, d'ye see, in a Revenue sloop, 
And, off Cape Finistere, 

A merchantman we see, 
A Frenchman, going free, 
So we made for the bold Mounseer, 

D'ye see? 

We made for the bold Mounseer. 

But she proved to be a Frigate and she up with her ports, 
And fires with a thirty-two! 
It come uncommon near, 
But we answered with a cheer, 
Which paralysed the Parly-voo, 

D'ye see? 
Which paralysed the Parly-voo! 

Then our Captain he up and he says, says he, 
" That chap we need not fear, 
We can take her, if we like, 
She is sartin for to strike, 
For she 's only a darned Mounseer, 

D'ye see? 

She 's only a darned Mounseer! 

But to fight a French fal-lal! it's like hittin' of a gal 
It 's a lubberly thing for to do ; 
For we, with all our faults, 
Why we're sturdy British salts, 
While she 's only a Parley-voo, 

D'ye see? 
A miserable Parley-voo!" 

So we up with our helm, and we scuds before the breeze 
As we gives a compassionating cheer; 
Froggee answers with a shout 
As he sees us go about, 


(P. 121) 


Which was grateful of the poor Mounseer, 

D'ye see? 

Which was grateful of the poor Mounseer! 
And I'll wager in their joy they kissed each other's cheek 
(Which is what them furriners do), 
And they blessed their lucky stars 
We were hardy British tars 
Who had pity on a poor Parley-voo, 

D'ye see? 
Who had pity on a poor Parley-voo ! 

[Exeunt CHORUS, as ROBIN comes forward. 

Rob. Richard! 

Rich. Robin! 

Rob. My beloved foster-brother, and very dearest friend, welcome 
home again after ten long years at sea! It is such deeds as you 
have just described that cause our flag to be loved and dreaded 
throughout the civilized world! 

Rich. Why, lord love ye, Rob, that 's but a trifle to what we have 
done in the way of sparing life! I believe I may say, without 
exaggeration, that the marciful little Tom-Tit has spared more 
French frigates than any craft afloat! But 'taint fora British 
seaman to brag, so I'll just stow my jawin' tackle and belay. 
[ROBIN sighs.] But Vast heavin', messmate, what's brought 
you all a-cockbill? 

Rob. Alas, Dick, I love Rose Maybud, and love in vain ! 

Rich. You love in vain? Come, that's too good! Why, you're a 
fine strapping muscular young fellow tall and strong as a to'- 
gall'n-m'st taut as a fore-stay aye, and a barrowknight to 
boot, if all had their rights! 

Rob. Hush, Richard not a word about my true rank, which none 
here suspect. Yes, I know well enough that few men are better 
calculated to win a woman's heart than I. I'm a fine fellow, 
Dick, and worthy any woman's love happy the girl who gets 
me, say I. But I'm timid, Dick; shy nervous modest 
retiring diffident and I cannot tell her, Dick, I cannot tell 
her! Ah, you've no idea what a poor opinion I have of myself, 
and how little I deserve it. 


Rich. Robin, do you call to mind how, years ago, we swore that, 
come what might, we would always act upon our hearts' dictates? 

Rob. Aye, Dick, and I've always kept that oath. In doubt, 
difficulty, and danger, I've always asked my heart what I should 
do, and it has never failed me. 

Rich. Right! Let your heart be your compass, with a clear con- 
science for your binnacle light, and you'll sail ten knots on a 
bowline, clear of shoals, rocks, and quicksands! Well now, 
what does my heart say in this here difficult situation? Why, 
it says " Dick," it says (it calls me " Dick" acos it 's known 
me from a babby) " Dick," it says, "you ain't s\\yyou ain't 
modest speak you up for him as is! " Robin, my lad, just you 
lay me alongside, and when she 's becalmed under my lee, I'll 
spin her a yarn that shall sarve to fish you two together for life ! 

Rob. Will you do this thing for me? Can you, do you think? Yes. 
[Feeling his pulse. ] There 's no false modesty about you. Your 
what I would call bumptious self-assertiveness (I mean the 
expression in its complimentary sense) has already made you 
a bos'n's mate, and it will make an admiral of you in time, if 
you work it properly, you dear, incompetent old impostor! My 
dear fellow, I'd give my right arm for one tenth of your modest 

Rob. My boy, you may take it from me, 

That of all the afflictions accurst 
With which a man 's saddled 
And hampered and addled, 
A diffident nature 's the worst. 
Though clever as clever can be 
A Crichton of early romance 
You must stir it and stump it, 
And blow your own trumpet, 
Or, trust me, you haven't a chance. 

If you wish in the world to advance, 
Your merits you're bound to enhance, 

You must stir and stump it, 

And blow your own trumpet, 
Or, trust me, you haven't a chance! 


Now take, for example, my case: 

I've a bright intellectual brain 

In all London city 

There 's no one so witty 
I've thought so again and again. 
I've a highly intelligent face 

My features can not be denied 

But, whatever I try, sir, 

I fail in and why, sir? 
I'm modesty personified! 

If you wish in the world to advance, etc. 

As a poet, I'm tender and quaint 

I've passion and fervour and grace 
From Ovid and Horace 
To Swinburne and Morris, 
They all of them take a back place. 
Then I sing and I play and I paint: 
Though none are accomplished as I, 
To say so were treason : 
You ask me the reason? 
I'm diffident, modest and shy! 

If you wish in the world to advance, etc. 

[Exit ROBIN. 

Rich. [Looking after him.] Ah, it's a thousand pities he's such a 
poor opinion of himself, for a finer fellow don't walk! Well, 
I'll do my best for him. " Plead for him as though it was for 
your own father " that 's what my heart 's a remarkin' to me 
just now. But here she comes! Steady! Steady it is! [Enter 
ROSE he is much struck by her.] By the Port Admiral but 
she 's a tight little craft! Come, come, she 's not for you, Dick, 
and yet she 's fit to marry Lord Nelson ! By the Flag of Old 
England, I can't look at her unmoved. 

Rose. Sir, you are agitated 

Rich. Aye, aye, my lass, well said! I am agitated, true enough! 
took flat aback, my girl, but 'tis naught 'twill pass. [Aside.] 
This here heart of mine's a dictatin' to me like anythink. 
Question is, have I a right to disregard its promptings? 


Rose. Can I do aught to relieve thine anguish, for it seemeth to 
me that thou art in sore trouble? This apple {Offering a 
damaged apple. ] 

Rich. [Looking at it and returning it. \ No, my lass, 'taint that: 
I'm I'm took flat aback I never see anything like you 
in all my born days. Parbuckle me, if you ain't the loveliest 
gal I've ever set eyes on. There I can't say fairer than that, 
can I? 

Rose. No. [Aside.} The question is, is it meet that an utter 
stranger should thus express himself? [Refers to book.] Yes, 
" Always speak the truth." 

Rich. I'd no thoughts of sayin' this here to you on my own account, 
for, truth to tell, I was chartered by another; but when I see 
you my heart it up and it says, says it, " This is the very lass 
for you, Dick." " Speak up to her, Dick," it says (it calls me 
Dick acos we was at school together) "tell her all, Dick," it 
says, " never sail under false colours it 's mean!" That ''s what 
my heart tells me to say, and in my rough, common-sailor 
fashion, I've said it, and I'm a-waiting for your reply. I'm a 
tremblin', miss. Lookye here [holding out his hand] that's 

Rose. [Aside.] Now, how should a maiden deal with such an one? 
[Consults book.] "Keep no one in unnecessary suspense." 
[Aloud.] Behold, I will not keep you in unnecessary suspense. 
[Refers to book.] " In accepting an offer of marriage, do so 
with apparent hesitation." [Aloud.] I take you, but with a 
certain show of reluctance. [Refers to book.] "Avoid any 
appearance of eagerness." [Aloud.] Though you will bear in 
mind that I am far from anxious to do so. [Refers to book.] 
"A little show of emotion will not be misplaced!" [Aloud.] 
Pardon this tear! [Wipes her eye.] 

Rich. Rose, you've made me the happiest blue-jacket in England! 
I wouldn't change places with the Admiral of the Fleet, no 
matter who he's a huggin' of at this present moment! But, 
axin' your pardon, miss [wiping his lips with his hand], might 
I be permitted to salute the flag I'm a-goin' to sail under? 

Rose. [Referring to book.] " An engaged young lady should not 
permit too many familiarities." [Aloud.] Once! [RICHARD 
kisses her.] 


(p. 123) 



Rich. The battle 's roar is over, 

O my love! 
Embrace thy tender lover, 

O my love! 
From tempests' welter, 

From war's alarms, 
O give me shelter 

Within those arms! 
Thy smile alluring, 
All heart-ache curing, 
Gives peace enduring, 
O my love! 

Rose. If heart both true and tender, 

O my love ! 
A life-love can engender, 

O my love! 
A truce to sighing 

And tears of brine, 
For joy undying 

Shall aye be mine, 
And thou and I, love, 
Shall live and die, love, 
Without a sigh, love 
My own, my love! 

Enter ROBIN, with Chorus of Bridesmaids 


If well his suit has sped, 
Oh, may they soon be wed ! 
Oh, tell us, tell us, pray, 
What doth the maiden say? 
In singing are we justified 
" Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride" 

Rob. Well what news? Have you spoken to her? 
Rich. Aye, my lad, I have so to speak spoke her. 


Rob. And she refuses? 

Rich. Why, no, I can't truly say she do. 

Rob. Then she accepts! My darling! [Embraces her. 


Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! 
Let the nuptial knot be tied : 

In fair phrases 

Hymn their praises, 
Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! 

Rose. [Aside, referring to her book.] Now, what should a maiden 

do when she is embraced by the wrong gentleman? 
Rich. Belay, my lad, belay. You don't understand. 
Rose. Oh, sir, belay, I beseech you ! 
Rich. You see, it's like this: she accepts but it's mel 
Rob. You! [RICHARD embraces ROSE. 


Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! 
When the nuptial knot is tied 

Rob. {Interrupting angrily. ,] Hold your tongues, will you ! Now 
then, what does this mean? 

Rich. My poor lad, my heart grieves for thee, but it's like this: 
the moment I see her, and just as I was a-goin' to mention your 
name, my heart it up and it says, says it ' ' Dick, you've fell 
in love with her yourself," it says. " Be honest and sailor-like 
don't skulk under false colours speak up, " it says. ' ' Take her, 
you dog, and with her my blessin'! " 

Bridesmaids. " Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! " 

Rob. Will you be quiet! Go away! [Chorus make faces at him and 
exeunt.] Vulgar girls! 

Rich. What could I do? I'm bound to obey my heart's dictates. 

Rob. Of course no doubt. It's quite right I don't mind that 
is, not particularly only it's it is disappointing, you 

Rose [To ROBIN.] Oh, but, sir, I knew not that thou didst seek me 
in wedlock, or in very truth I should not have hearkened unto 
this man, for behold, he is but a lowly mariner, and very poor 


withal, whereas thou art a tiller of the land, and thou hast fat 
oxen, and many sheep and swine, a considerable dairy farm and 
much corn and oil ! 

Rich. That 's true, my lass, but it 's done now, ain't it, Rob? 

Rose. Still it may be that I should not be happy in thy love. I am 
passing young and little able to judge. Moreover, as to thy 
character I know naught ! 

Rob. Nay, Rose, I'll answer for that. Dick has won thy love fairly. 
Broken-hearted as I am, I'll stand up for Dick through thick 
and thin! 

Dick. {With emotion.} Thankye, messmate! that's well said. That's 
spoken honest. Thankye, Rob! [Grasps his hand. 

Rose. Yetmethinks I have heard that sailors are but worldly men, 
and little prone to lead serious and thoughtful lives! 

Rob. And what then? Admit that Dick is not a steady character, 
and that when he 's excited he uses language that would make 
your hair curl. Grant that he does. It's the truth, and I'm 
not going to deny it. But look at his good qualities. He 's as 
nimble as a pony, and his hornpipe is the talk of the fleet! 

Rich. Thankye, Rob! That 's well spoken. Thankye, Rob! 

Rose. But it may be that he drinketh strong waters which do bemuse 
a man, and make him even as the wild beasts of the desert! 

Rob. Well, suppose he does, and I don't say he don't, for rum 's his 
bane, and ever has been. He does drink I won't deny it. But 
what of that? Look at his arms tattoed to the shoulder! [Dick 
rolls up his sleeves.} No, no I won't hear a word against 

Rose. But they say that mariners are but rarely true to those whom 
they profess to love ! 

Rob. Granted granted and I don't say that Dick isn't as bad as 
any of 'em. [Dick chuckles.} You are, you know you are, you 
dog ! a devil of a fellow a regular out-and-out Lothario ! But 
what then? You can't have everything, and a better hand at 
turning-in a dead-eye don't walk a deck! And what an accom- 
plishment that is in a family man ! No, no not a word against 
Dick. I'll stick up for him through thick and thin ! 
Rich. Thankye, Rob, thankye. You're a true friend. I've acted 
accordin' to my heart's dictates, and such orders as them no 
man should disobey. 


In sailing o'er life's ocean wide 
Your heart should be your only guide; 
With summer sea and favouring wind 
Yourself in port you'll surely find. 

Rich. My heart says, " To this maiden strike 

She 's captured you. 
She 's just the sort of girl you like 

You know you do. 
If other man her heart should gain, 

I shall resign." 
That 's what it says to me quite plain, 

This heart of mine. 

Rob. My heart says, ' ' You've a prosperous lot, 

With acres wide; 
You mean to settle all you've got 

Upon your bride." 
It don't pretend to shape my acts 

By word or sign ; 
It merely states these simple facts, 

This heart of mine ! 

Rose. Ten minutes since my heart said "white" 

It now says " black." 
It then said "left" it now says "right" 

Hearts often tack. 
I must obey its latest strain 

You tell me so. [To RICHARD. 

But should it change its mind again, 

I'll let you know. 
\Turningfrom RICHARD to ROBIN, -who embraces her. 


In sailing o'er life's ocean wide 
No doubt the heart should be your guide, 
But it is awkward when you find 
A heart that does not know its mind ! 
[Exeunt ROBIN with ROSE L. and RICHARD, weeping R. 


Enter MAD MARGARET. She is mildly dressed in picturesque tatters, 
and is an obvious caricature of theatrical madness. 

Mar. Cheerily carols the lark 

Over the cot. 
Merrily whistles the clerk 
Scratching a blot. 
But the lark 
And the clerk, 
I remark, 
Comfort me not ! 

Over the ripening peach 

Buzzes the bee. 
Splash on the billowy beach 
Tumbles the sea. 
But the peach 
And the beach 
They are each 
Nothing to me! 

And why? 

Who am I? 

Daft Madge! Crazy Meg! 
Mad Margaret! Poor Peg! 
He! he! he! he! he! \Chuckling~ 

Mad, I? 

Yes, very! 
But why? 
Mystery ! 
Don't call ! 
Whisht! whisht! 

No crime 
'Tis only 
That I'm 
Love lonely ! 
That 'sail! 
Whisht! whisht! 



Mar. To a garden full of posies 

Cometh one to gather flowers, 
And he wanders through its bowers 

Toying with the wanton roses, 
Who, uprising from their beds, 
Hold on high their shameless heads 

With their pretty lips a-pouting, 

Never doubting never doubting 
That for Cytherean posies 
He would gather aught but roses! 

In a nest of weeds and nettles, 

Lay a violet, half-hidden, 

Hoping that his glance unbidden 
Yet might fall upon her petals. 

Though she lived alone, apart, 

Hope lay nestling at her heart, 
But, alas, the cruel awaking 
Set her little heart a-breaking, 

For he gathered for his posies 

Only roses only roses! [Bursts into tears. 

Enter ROSE 

Rose. A maiden, and in tears? Can I do aught to soften thy sor- 
row? This apple [Offering apple.} 

Mar. [Examines it and rejects it.} No! [Mysteriously.} Tell me, 
are you mad? 

Rose. I? No! That is, I think not. 

Mar. That's well! Then you don't love Sir Despard Murgatroyd? 
All mad girls love him. / love him. I'm poor Mad Margaret 
Crazy Meg Poor Peg! He! he! he! he! [Chuckling. 

Rose. Thou lovest the bad Baronet of Ruddigore? Oh, horrible 
too horrible ! 

Mar. You pity me? Then be my mother! The squirrel had a 


mother, but she drank and the squirrel fled! Hush! They sing- 
a brave song in our parts it runs somewhat thus: [Stngs.] 

"The cat and the dog and the little puppee 
Sat down in a down in a in a " 

I forget what they sat down in, but so the song goes! Listen 
I've come to pinch her! 

Rose. Mercy, whom? 

Mar. You mean "who." 

Rose. Nay! it is the accusative after the verb. 

Mar. True. [Whispers melodramatically.'] I have come to pinch 
Rose Maybud! 

Rose. [Aside, alarmed.} Rose Maybud! 

Mar. Aye! I love him he loved me once. But that's all gone, 
Fisht! He gave me an Italian glance thus [business] and 
made me his. He will give her an Italian glance, and make 
her his. But it shall not be, for I'll stamp on her stamp on 
her stamp on her! Did you ever kill anybody? No? Why 
not? Listen I killed a fly this morning! It buzzed, and I 
wouldn't have it. So it died pop! So shall she! 

Rose. But behold, 7 am Rose Maybud, and I would fain not die 

Mar. You are Rose Maybud! 

Rose. Yes, sweet Rose Maybud! 

Mar. Strange! They told me she was beautiful! And he loves 
you\ No, no! If I thought that, I would treat you as the 
auctioneer and land-agent treated the lady-bird I would rend 
you asunder! 

Rose. Nay, be pacified, for behold I am pledged to another, and 
lo, we are to be wedded this very day! 

Mar. Swear me that! Come to a Commissioner and let me have it 
on affidavit! /once made an affidavit but it died it died it 
died! But see, they come Sir Despard and his evil crew! 
Hide, hide they are all mad quite mad! 

Rose. What makes you think that? 

Mar. Hush! they sing choruses in public. That's mad enough, 
I think! Go hide away, or they will seize you. Hush! Quite 
softly quite, quite softly! [Exeunt together, on tiptoe. 


Enter Chorus of Bucks and Blades ; heralded by 
Chorus of Bridesmaids 


Welcome, gentry, 

For your entry 
Sets our tender hearts a-beating. 

Men of station, 

Prompts this unaffected greeting. 

Hearty greeting offer we! 

Your exceeding 

Easy breeding 
Just the thing our hearts to pillage 

Cheers us, charms us, 

Quite disarms us, 
Welcome, welcome, to our village ; 

To our village welcome be! 


When thoroughly tired 

Of being admired 
By ladies of gentle degree degree, 

With flattery sated, 

High-flown and inflated, 
Away from the city we flee we flee! 

From charms intramural 
To prettiness rural 
The sudden transition 
Is simply Elysian, 
So come, Amaryllis, 
Come, Chloe and Phyllis, 
Your slaves, for the moment, are we! 

All. From charms intramural, etc. 



The sons of the tillage 

Who dwell in this village 
Are people of lowly degree degree. 

Though honest and active 

They're most unattractive 
And awkward as awkward can be can be> 

They're clumsy clodhoppers 
With axes and choppers, 
And shepherds and ploughmen 
And drovers and cowmen 
And hedgers and reapers 
And carters and keepers, 
But never a lover for me! 

All. They're clumsy clodhoppers, etc. 

All. So welcome, gentry, 

For entry 

I our 

Sets \ \ r \ tender hearts a-beating, etc. 



Sir D. Oh why am I moody and sad? 
Ch. Can't guess! 

Sir D. And why am I guiltily mad? 
Ch. Confess! 

Sir D. Because I am thoroughly bad ! 
Ch. Oh yes 

Sir D. You'll see it at once in my face. 

Oh why am I husky and hoarse? 
Ch. Ah, why? 

Sir D. It 's the workings of conscience, of course. 
Ch. Fie, fie! 

Sir D. And huskiness stands for remorse, 
Ch. Oh my! 

Sir D. At least it does so in my case! 


Sir D. When in crime one is fully employed 

Ch. Like you 

Sir D. Your expression gets warped and destroyed : 

Ch. It do. 

Sir D. It 's a penalty none can avoid ; 

Ch. How true! 

Sir D. I once was a nice-looking youth ; 

But like stone from a strong catapult 
Ch. [Explaining to each other. ] A trice 
Sir D. I rushed at my terrible cult 

Ch. [Explaining to each other.} That's vice 
Sir D. Observe the unpleasant result! 

Ch. Not nice. 

Sir D. Indeed I am telling the truth ! 

Sir D. O innocent, happy though poor! 

Ch. That 's we 

Sir D. If I had been virtuous, I'm sure 

Ch. Like me 

Sir D. I should be as nice-looking as you're! 

Ch. May be. 

Sir D. You are very nice-looking indeed! 

O innocents, listen in time 
Ch. We doe, 

Sir D. Avoid an existence of crime 
Ch. Just so 

Sir D. Or you'll be as ugly as I'm 
Ch. [Loudly.] No! no! 

Sir D. And now, if you please, we'll proceed. 

[All the girls express their horror of SIR DESPARD. As he 
approaches them they fly from him, terror-stricken, 
leaving him alone on the stage. 

Sir D. Poor children, how they loathe me me whose hands are 
certainly steeped in infamy, but whose heart is as the heart of 
a little child! But what is a poor baronet to do, when a whole 
picture-gallery of ancestors step down from their frames and 


(P- 134) 


threaten him with an excruciating death, if he hesitate to 
commit his daily crime? But ha! ha! I am even with them! 
[Mysteriously. ] I get my crime over the first thing in the 
morning and then, ha! ha! for the rest of the day I do good 
I do good I do good! [Melodramatically.} Two days since, I 
stole a child and built an orphan asylum. Yesterday I robbed 
a bank and endowed a bishopric. To-day I carry off Rose 
Maybud, and atone with a cathedral! This is what it is to be 
the sport and toy of a Picture Gallery! But I will be bitterly 
revenged upon them! I will give them all to the Nation, and 
nobody shall ever look upon their faces again ! 


Rich. Ax your honour's pardon, but 

Sir D. Ha! observed! And by a mariner! What would you with 

me, fellow? 
Rich. Your honour, I'm a poor man-o'-war's man, becalmed in 

the doldrums 
Sir D. I don't know them. 
Rich. And I make bold to ax your honour's advice. Does your 

honour know what it is to have a heart? 
Sir D. My honour knows what it is to have a complete apparatus 

for conducting the circulation of the blood through the veins 

and arteries of the human body. 
Rich. Aye, but has your honour a heart that ups and looks you in 

the face, and gives you quarter-deck orders that it 's life and 

death to disobey? 
Sir D. I have not a heart of that description, but I have a Picture 

Gallery that presumes to take that liberty. 
Rich. Well, your honour, it 's like this Your honour had an elder 

Sir D. It had. 
Rich. Who should have inherited your title and with it, its 


Sir D. Aye, but he died. Oh, Ruthven ! 
Rich. He didn't. 
Sir D. He did not? 


Rich. He didn't. On the contrary, he lives in this here very village, 
under the name of Robin Oakapple, and he 's a-going to marry 
Rose Maybud this very day. 

Sir D. Ruthven alive, and going to marry Rose Maybud! Can 
this be possible? 

Rich. Now the question I was going to ask your honour is ought 
I to tell your honour this? 

Sir D. I don't know. It's a delicate point. I think you ought. 
Mind, I'm not sure, but I think so. 

Rich. That's what my heart says. It says, "Dick," it says (it 
calls me Dick acos it's entitled to take that liberty), "That 
there young gal would recoil from him if she knowed what he 
really were. Ought you to stand off and on, and let this young 
gal take this false step and never fire a shot across her bows to 
bring her to? No," it says, "you did not ought." And I won't 
ought, accordin'. 

Sir D. Then you really feel yourself at liberty to tell me that my 
elder brother lives that I may charge him with his cruel deceit, 
and transfer to his shoulders the hideous thraldom under which 
I have laboured for so many years! Free free at last! Free to 
live a blameless life, and to die beloved and regretted by all 
who knew me! 


Rich. You understand? 

Sir Des. I think I do, 

With vigour unshaken 
This step shall be taken. 
It's neatly planned. 

Rich. I think so too; 

I'll readily bet it 
You'll never regret it! 

Both. For duty, duty must be done ; 

The rule applies to every one, 
And painful though that duty be, 
To shirk the task were fiddle-de-dee! 


Sir Des. The bridegroom comes 

Rich. Likewise the bride 

The maidens are very 

Elated and merry; 
They are her chums. 
Sir Des. To lash their pride 

Were almost a pity, 

The pretty committee! 

Both. But duty, duty must be done; 

The rule applies to every one, 
And painful though that duty be, 
To shirk the task were fiddle-de-dee! 


Enter Chorus of Bridesmaids and Bucks 


Hail the bride of seventeen summers: 
In fair phrases 
Hymn her praises; 

Lift your song on high, all comers, 
She rejoices 
In your voices. 

Smiling summer beams upon her, 

Shedding every blessing on her: 
Maidens, greet her 
Kindly treat her 

You may all be brides some day! 


Hail the bridegroom who advances, 


Yet elated. 
He 's in easy circumstances, 

Young and lusty, 

True and trusty: 


Happiness untold awaits them 
When the parson consecrates them ; 

People near them, 

Loudly cheer them 
You'll be bridegrooms some fine day! 

Enter ROBIN, attended by RICHARD and OLD ADAM, meeting ROSE, 
attended by ZORAH and DAME HANNAH. ROSE and ROBIN 


Rose. Where the buds are blossoming, 

Smiling welcome to the spring, 
Lovers choose a wedding day 
Life is love in merry May! 

Girls. Spring is green Fal lal la! 

Summer's rose Fal lal la! 
All. It is sad when summer goes, 

Fal la! 
Men. Autumn 's gold Fal lal la! 

Winter 's gray Fal lal la ! 
All. Winter still is far away 

Fal la! 

Leaves in autumn fade and fall 
Winter is the end of all. 
Spring and summer teem with glee: 
Spring and summer, then, for me! 
Fal la! 

Han. In the spring-time seed is sown : 

In the summer grass is mown: 
In the autumn you may reap: 
Winter is the time for sleep. 

Girls. Spring is hope Fal lal la! 

Summer's joy Fal lal la! 

AIL Spring and summer never cloy, 

Fal la! 


Men. Autumn, toil Fal lal la! 

Winter, rest Fal lal la! 

All. Winter, after all, is best 

Fal la! 

Spring and summer pleasure you, 
Autumn, aye, and winter too 
Every season has its cheer 
Life is lovely all the year! 
Fal la! 

After Gavotte, enter SIR DESPARD 

Sir D. Hold, bride and bridegroom, ere you wed each other, 

I claim your Robin as my elder brother! 
Rob. [Aside.] Ah, lost one! 

Sir D. His rightful title I have long enjoyed: 

I claim him as Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd! 
Rose. [Wildly.] Deny the falsehood, Robin, as you should! 

It is a plot! 
Rob. I would, if conscientiously I could, 

But I cannot! 
All. Ah, base one! 


Rob. As pure and blameless peasant, 

I cannot, I regret, 
Deny a truth unpleasant, 
I am that Baronet! 

All. He is that Baronet! 

Rob. But when completely rated 

Bad baronet am I, 
That I am what he 's stated 
I'll recklessly deny! 

All. He'll recklessly deny! 


Rob. When I'm a bad Bart. I will tell taradiddles! 

All. He'll tell taradiddles when he's a bad Bart. 

Rob. I'll play a bad part on the falsest of fiddles. 

All. On very false fiddles he'll play a bad part! 

Rob. But until that takes place I must be conscientious 

All. He'll be conscientious until that takes place. 

Rob. Then adieu with good grace to my morals sententious ! 

All. To morals sententious adieu with good grace ! 

Zor. Who is the wretch who hath betrayed thee? 

Let him stand forth ! 
Rich. [Coming forward.] 'Twas I ! 
All. Die, traitor! 

Rich. Hold, my conscience made me ! 

Withhold your wrath ! 

Rich. Within this breast there beats a heart 

Whose voice can't be gainsaid. 
It bade me thy true rank impart, 

And I at once obeyed. 
I knew 'twould blight thy budding fate 
I knew 'twould cause thee anguish great 
But did I therefore hesitate? 
No! I at once obeyed! 

All. Acclaim him who, when his true heart 

Bade him young Robin's rank impart, 
Immediately obeyed! 

Rose. [Addressing ROBIN.] Farewell! 

Thou hadst my heart 

'Twas quickly won ! 
But now we part 
Thy face I shun ! 
Farewell ! 


(P- 139) 


Go bend the knee 

At Vice's shrine, 
Of life with me 

All hope resign. 
Farewell ! 

Sir Despard. Take me I am thy bride! 

All. Hurrah! 


Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! 
When the nuptial knot is tied ; 
Every day will bring some joy 
That can never, never cloy ! 

Enter MARGARET, who listens 

Sir D. Excuse me, I'm a virtuous person now 
Rose. That 's why I wed you ! 

Sir D. And I to Margaret must keep my vow! 
Mar. Have I misread you? 

Oh joy! with newly kindled rapture warmed, 

I kneel before you! [Kneels. 

Sir D. I once disliked you; now that I've reformed, 

How I adore you ! [They embrace. 


Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride! 
When the nuptial knot is tied ; 
Every day will bring some joy 
That can never, never cloy! 

Rose. Richard, of him I love bereft, 

Through thy design, 
Thou art the only one that 's left, 

So I am thine! [They embrace. 



Hail the Bridegroom hail the Bride ! 
Let the nuptial knot be tied! 

Oh, happy the lily 

When kissed by the bee ; 
And, sipping tranquilly, 

Quite happy is he ; 
And happy the filly 

That neighs in her pride; 
But happier than any, 
A pound to a penny, 
A lover is, when he 

Embraces his bride! 


Oh, happy the flowers 

That blossom in June, 
And happy the bowers 

That gain by the boon, 
But happier by hours 

The man of descent, 
Who, folly regretting, 
Is bent on forgetting 
His bad baronetting, 

And means to repent! 


Oh, happy the blossom 

That blooms on the lea, 
Likewise the opossom 

That sits on a tree, 
But when you come across 'em, 

They cannot compare, 
With those who are treading 
The dance at a wedding, 
While people are spreading 

The best of good fare! 


Oh, wretched the debtor 

Who 's signing a deed! 
And wretched the letter 

That no one can read ! 
But very much better 

Their lot it must be 
Than that of the person 
I'm making this verse on, 
Whose head there 's a curse on 
Alluding to me! 

[Repeat ensemble with chorus. 


At the end of the dance ROBIN falls senseless on the stage. Picture. 




SCENE Picture Gallery in Ruddigore Castle. The -walls are covered 
with full-length portraits of the Baronets of Ruddigore from the 
time of JAMES I the first being that of SIR RUPERT, alluded 
to in the legend; the last, that of the last deceased Baronet, 

Enter ROBIN and ADAM melodramatically. They are greatly altered 
in appearance, ROBIN wearing the haggard aspect of a guilty 
roue; ADAM, that of the wicked steward to such a man. 


Rob. I once was as meek as a new-born lamb, 

I'm now Sir Murgatroyd ha! ha! 
With greater precision, 
(Without the elision) 
Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd ha! ha! 

Adam. And I, who was once his valley-de-sham, 

As steward I'm now employed ha! ha! 
The dickens may take him 
I'll never forsake him! 
As steward I'm now employed ha! ha! 

Both. How dreadful when an innocent heart 

Becomes, perforce, a bad young Bart., 
And still more hard on old Adam 
His former faithful valley-de-sham\ 

Rob. This is a painful state of things, Old Adam ! 

Adam. Painful, indeed! Ah, my poor master, when I swore that 
come what would, I would serve you in all things for ever, I 
little thought to what a pass it would bring me! The con- 
fidential adviser to the greatest villain unhung! Now, Sir, to 
business. What crime do you propose to commit to-day? 


(p. 144) 


Rob. How should I know? As my confidential adviser, it 's your 
duty to suggest something. 

Adam. Sir, I loathe the life you are leading, but a good old man's 
oath is paramount, and I obey. Richard Dauntless is here 
with pretty Rose Maybud, to ask your consent to their 
marriage. Poison their beer. 

Rob. No not that I know I'm a bad Bart, but I'm not as bad a 
Bart as all that. 

Adam. Well, there you are, you see! It's no use my making 
suggestions if you don't adopt them. 

Rob. [Melodramatically.'] How would it be, do you think, were I 
to lure him here with cunning wile bind him with good stout 
rope to yonder post and then, by making hideous faces at 
him, curdle the heart-blood in his arteries, and freeze the very 
marrow in his bones? How say you, Adam, is not the scheme 
well planned? 

Adam. It would be simply rude nothing more. But soft they 

ADAM and ROBIN retire up as RICHARD and ROSE enter, preceded 
by Chorus of Bridesmaids 

Rich. Happily coupled are we, 

You see 

I am a jolly Jack Tar, 
My star, 

And you are the fairest, 
The richest and rarest 
Of innocent lasses you are, 

By far 
Of innocent lasses you are! 

Fanned by a favouring gale, 

You'll sail 
Over life's treacherous sea 

With me, 



And as for bad weather 
We'll brave it together, 

And you shall creep under my lee, 
My wee! 

And you shall creep under my lee! 

For you are such a smart little craft 
Such a neat little, sweet little craft, 
Such a bright little, tight little, 
Slight little, light little, 
Trim little, prim little craft! 

For she is such, etc. 

Rose. My hopes will be blighted I fear, 

My dear; 
In a month you'll be going to sea, 

Quite free, 

And all of my wishes 
You'll throw to the fishes 
As though they were never to be ; 

Poor me! 
As though they were never to be. 

And I shall be left all alone 

To moan, 
And weep at your cruel deceit, 

Complete ; 

While you'll be asserting 

Your freedom by flirting 

With every woman you meet, 

You cheat 
With every woman you meet! 

Though I am such a smart little craft- 
Such a neat little, sweet little craft, 
Such a bright little, tight little, 
Slight little, light little, 
Trim little, prim little craft! 

Though she is such, etc. 


Enter ROBIN 

Rob. Soho! pretty one in my power at last, eh? Know ye not 
that I have those within my call who, at my lightest bidding, 
would immure ye in an uncomfortable dungeon? [Calling.'] 
What ho! within there! 

Rich. Hold we are prepared for this. [Producing a Union Jack.} 
Here is a flag that none dare defy [all kneel], and while this 
glorious rag floats over Rose Maybud's head, the man does not 
live who would dare to lay unlicensed hand upon her! 

Rob, Foiled and by a Union Jack! But a time will come and 

Rose. Nay, let me plead with him. [To ROBIN.] Sir Ruthven, have 
pity. In my book of etiquette the case of a maiden about to be 
wedded to one who unexpectedly turns out to be a baronet with 
a curse on him, is not considered. Time was when you loved 
me madly. Prove that this was no selfish love by according 
your consent to my marriage with one who, if he be not your- 
self, is the next best thing your dearest friend! 

Rose. In bygone days I had thy love 

Thou hadst my heart. 
But Fate, all human vows above, 

Our lives did part! 
By the old love thou hadst for me 
By the fond heart that beat for thee 
By joys that never now can be, 
Grant thou my prayer! 

All. [Kneeling.~\ Grant thou her prayer! 

Rob. [Recit.] Take her I yield. 

A II. [Recit. ] Oh raptu re ! 

Away to the parson we go 

Say we're solicitous very 
That he will turn two into one 

Singing hey, derry down derry! 


Rich. For she is such a smart little craft 

Rose. Such a neat little, sweet little craft 
Rich. Such a bright little 

Rose. Tight little 

Rich. Slight little 

Rose. Light little 

Both. Trim little, slim little craft! 

For she is such a smart little craft, etc. 

[Exeunt all but ROBIN. 

Rob. For a week I have fulfilled my accursed doom ! I have duly 
committed a crime a-day ! Not a great crime, I trust, but still 
in the eyes of one as strictly regulated as I used to be, a crime. 
But will my ghostly ancestors be satisfied with what I have 
done, or will they regard it as an unworthy subterfuge? 
[Addressing Pictures.] Oh, my forefathers, wallowers in blood, 
there came at last a day when, sick of crime, you, each and 
every, vowed to sin no more, and so, in agony, called welcome 
Death to free you from your cloying guiltiness. Let the sweet 
psalm of that repentant hour soften your long-dead hearts, and 
tune your souls to mercy on your poor posterity ! [Kneeling. 

[The stage darkens for a moment. It becomes light again, 
and the Pictures are seen to have become animated. 

Painted emblems of a race 

All accurst in days of yore, 
Each from his accustomed place 

Steps into the world once more. 

[The Pictures step from their frames and 
march round the stage. 

Baronet of Ruddigore, 

Last of our accursed line, 
Down upon the oaken floor 

Down upon those knees of thine. 



Coward, poltroon, shaker, squeamer, 
Blockhead, sluggard, dullard, dreamer, 
Shirker, shuffler, crawler, creeper, 
Sniffler, snuffler, wailer, weeper, 
Earthworm, maggot, tadpole, weevil! 
Set upon thy course of evil 
Lest the King of Spectre-Land 
Set on thee his grisly hand! 

The spectre of Sir Roderic descends from his frame. 

Sir Rod. By the curse upon our race 

Chorus. Dead and hearsed 

All accursed ! 

Sir Rod. Each inheriting this place 

Chorus. Sorrows shake it! 

Devil take it! 

Sir Rod. Must, perforce, or yea or nay 

Chorus. Yea or naying 

Be obeying! 

Sir Rod. Do a deadly crime each day! 

Cliorus. Fire and thunder, 

We knocked under 
Some atrocious crime committed 
Daily ere the world we quitted ! 

Sir Rod. Beware! beware! beware! 

Rob. Gaunt vision, who art thou 

That thus, with icy glare 
And stern relentless brow, 
Appearest, who knows how? 

Sir Rod. I am the spectre of the late 

Sir Roderic Murgatroyd. 
Who comes to warn thee that thy fate 
Thou canst not now avoid. 

Rob. Alas, poor ghost ! 

Sir Rod. The pity you 

Express, for nothing goes: 


We spectres are a jollier crew 
Than you, perhaps, suppose! 

Chorus. Yes! yes! 

We spectres are a jollier crew 

Than you, perhaps, suppose! 
Ha! ha! 

When the night wind howls in the chimney cowls, and the bat in 

the moonlight flies, 

And inky clouds, like funeral shrouds, sail over the midnight skies 
When the footpads quail at the night-bird's wail, and black dogs 

bay the moon, 
Then is the spectre's holiday then is the ghosts' high noon ! 

Ha! ha! 
Then is the ghosts' high noon! 

As the sob of the breeze sweeps over the trees and the mists lie low 

on the fen, 
From gray tomb-stones are gathered the bones that once were 

women and men, 
And away they go, with a mop and a mow, to the revel that ends 

too soon, 
For cockcrow limits our holiday the dead of the night 's high noon! 

Ha! ha! 
The dead of the night 's high noon! 

And then each ghost with his ladye-toast to their churchyard beds 

takes flight, 
With a kiss, perhaps, on her lantern chaps, and a grisly, grim 

" good-night " ; 
Till the welcome knell of the midnight bell rings forth its jolliest 

And ushers our next high holiday the dead of the night's high 



Ha! ha! 
The dead of the night's high noon! 

Rob. I recognize you now you are the Picture that hangs at the 

end of the gallery. 
Sir Rod. In a bad light. I am. 
Rob. Are you considered a good likeness? 
Sir Rod. Pretty well. Flattering. 
Rob. Because as a work of art you are poor. 
Sir Rod. I am crude in colour, but I have only been painted ten 

years. In a couple of centuries I shall be an Old Master, and 

then you will be sorry you spoke lightly of me. 
Rob. And may I ask why you have left your frames? 
Sir Rod. It is our duty to see that our successors commit their 

daily crimes in a conscientious and workmanlike fashion. It is 

our duty to remind you that you are evading the conditions 

under which you are permitted to exist. 
Rob. Really I don't know what you'd have. I've only been a bad 

baronet a week, and I've committed a crime punctually every 


Sir Rod. Let us inquire into this. Monday? 
Rob. Monday was a Bank Holiday. 
Sir Rod. True. Tuesday? 

Rob. On Tuesday I made a false income tax return. 
All. Ha! ha! 

First Ghost. That 's nothing. 
Second Ghost. Nothing at all. 
Third Ghost. Everybody does that. 
Fourth Ghost. It 's expected of you. 
Sir Rod. Wednesday? 

Rob. [Melodramatically.] On Wednesday I forged a will. 
Sir Rod. Whose will? 
Rob. My own. 

Sir Rod. My good sir, you can't forge your own will! 
Rob. Can't I though! I like that! I did\ Besides, if a man can't 

forge his own will, whose will can he forge? 
First Ghost. There 's something in that. 
Second Ghost. Yes, it seems reasonable. 


Third Ghost. At first sight it does. 

Fourth Ghost. Fallacy somewhere, I fancy! 

Rob. A man can do what he likes with his own? 

Sir Rod. I suppose he can. 

Rob. Well then, he can forge his own will, stoopid! On Thursday 
I shot a fox. 

First Ghost. Hear, hear! 

Sir Rod. That 's better. {Addressing Ghosts.} Pass the fox, I think? 
[They assent.} Yes, pass the fox. Friday? 

Rob. On Friday I forged a cheque. 

Sir Rod. Whose cheque? 

Rob. Old Adam's. 

Sir Rod. But Old Adam hasn't a banker. 

Rob. I didn't say I forged his banker I said I forged his cheque. 
On Saturday I disinherited my only son. 

Sir Rod. But you haven't got a son. 

Rob. No not yet. I disinherited him in advance, to save time. 
You see by this arrangement he'll be born ready dis- 

Sir Rod. I see. But I don't think you can do that. 

Rob. My good sir, if I can't disinherit my own unborn son, whose 
unborn son can I disinherit? 

Sir Rod. Humph! These arguments sound very well, but I can't 
help thinking that, if they were reduced to syllogistic form, 
they wouldn't hold water. Now quite understand us. We are 
foggy, but we don't permit our fogginess to be presumed upon. 
Unless you undertake to well, suppose we say carry off a 
lady? [Addressing Ghosts.} Those who are in favour of 
his carrying off a lady [All hold up their hands except 
a Bishop.} Those of the contrary opinion? \Bishop liolds 
up his hands.} Oh, you're never satisfied! Yes, unless you 
undertake to carry off a lady at once I don't care what lady 
any lady choose your lady you perish in inconceivable 

Rob. Carry off a lady? Certainly not, on any account. I've the 
greatest respect for ladies, and I wouldn't do anything of the 
kind for worlds! No, no. I'm not that kind of baronet, I assure 
you! If that's all you've got to say, you'd better go back to 
your frames. 



Sir Rod. Very good then let the agonies commence. 

[Ghosts make passes. ROBIN begins to -writhe in agony. 
Rob. Oh! Oh! Don't do that! I can't stand it! 
Sir Rod. Painful, isn't it? It gets worse by degrees. 
Rob. Oh Oh! Stop a bit! Stop it, will you? I want to speak. 

[SiR RODERIC makes signs to Ghosts, wlio resume their 

Sir Rod. Better? 
Rob. Yes better now! Whew! 
Sir Rod. Well, do you consent? 
Rob. But it 's such an ungentlemanly thing to do! 
Sir Rod. As you please. [To Ghosts.] Carry on! 
Rob. Stop I can't stand it! I agree! I promise! It shall be 


Sir Rod. To-day? 
Rob. To-day! 
Sir Rod. At once? 
Rob. At once! I retract! I apologize! I had no idea it was anything 

like that! 


He yields! He answers to our call! 

We do not ask for more. 
A sturdy fellow, after all, 

This latest Ruddigore! 
All perish in unheard of woe 
Who dare our wills defy; 
We want your pardon, ere we go, 
For having agonized you so 
So pardon us 
So pardon us 
So pardon us 
Or die! 

Rob. I pardon you! 

I pardon you! 

All. He pardons us 

[The Ghosts return to their frames. 



Painted emblems of a race, 

All accurst in days of yore, 
Each to his accustomed place 

Steps unwillingly, once more! 

[By this time the Ghosts have changed to pictures again. 
ROBIN is overcome by emotion. 

Enter ADAM 

Adam. My poor master, you are not well 

Rob. Gideon Crawle, it won't do I've seen 'em all my ancestors 
they're just gone. They say that I must do something des- 
perate at once, or perish in horrible agonies. Go go to 
yonder village carry off a maiden bring her here at once 
anyone I don't care which 

Adam. But 

Rob. Not a word, but obey! Fly! [Exit ADAM. 

Robin. Away, Remorse! 

Compunction, hence! 
Go, Moral Force! 

Go, Penitence! 
To Virtue's plea 

A long farewell 

I ring your knell! 
Come guiltiness of deadliest hue, 
Come desperate deeds of derring do! 

Henceforth all the crimes that I find in the "Times " 

I've promised to perpetrate daily; 
To-morrow I start, with a petrified heart, 

On a regular course of Old Bailey. 
There 's confidence tricking, bad coin, pocket-picking, 

And several other disgraces 
There's postage-stamp prigging, and then, thimble-rigging, 

The three-card delusion at races! 


Oh! a Baronet's rank is exceedingly nice, 
But the title 's uncommonly dear at the price! 

Ye well-to-do squires, who live in the shires, 

Where petty distinctions are vital, 
Who found Athenaeums and local museums, 

With views to a baronet's title 
Ye butchers and bakers and candlestick makers 

Who sneer at all things that are tradey 
Whose middle-class lives are embarrassed by wives 

Who long to parade as " My Lady," 
Oh ! allow me to offer a word of advice, 
The title 's uncommonly dear at the price! 

Ye supple M.P.'s, who go down on your knees, 

Your precious identity sinking, 
And vote black or white as your leaders indite 

(Which saves you the trouble of thinking), 
For your country's good fame, her repute, or her shame, 

You don't care the snuff of a candle 
But you're paid for your game when you're told that your name 

Will be graced by a baronet's handle 
Oh! allow me to give you a word of advice 
The title 's uncommonly dear at the price ! [Exit ROBIN. 

Enter SIR DESPARD and MARGARET. They are both dressed in sober 
black of formal cut, and present a strong contrast to their appear- 
ance in Act I. 


Des. I once was a very abandoned person 

Mar. Making the most of evil chances. 

Des. Nobody could conceive a worse 'un 

Mar. Even in all the old romances. 

Des. I blush for my wild extravagances, 

But be so kind 
To bear in mind 
Mar. We were the victims of circumstances! 

That is one of our blameless dances. 


Mar. I was an exceedingly odd young lady 

Des. Suffering much from spleen and vapours. 

Mar. Clergymen thought my conduct shady 

Des. She didn't spend much upon linendrapers. 

Mar. It certainly entertained the gapers. 

My ways were strange 

Beyond all range 
Des. And paragraphs got into all the papers. 

We only cut respectable capers. 

Des. I've given up all my wild proceedings. 

Mar. My taste for a wandering life is waning. 

Des. Now I'm a dab at penny readings. 

Mar. They are not remarkably entertaining. 

Des. A moderate livelihood we're gaining. 

Mar. In fact we rule 

A National School. 
Des. The duties are dull, but I'm not complaining. 

This sort of thing takes a deal of training! 

Des. We have been married a week. 

Mar. One happy, happy week ! 

Des. Our new life 

Mar. Is delightful indeed! 

Des. So calm ! 

Mar. So unimpassioned! {Wildly.} Master, all this I owe to you! 

See, I am no longer wild and untidy. My hair is combed. My 

face is washed. My boots fit! 
Des. Margaret, don't. Pray restrain yourself. Remember, you 

are now a district visitor. 
Mar. A gentle district visitor! 
Des. You are orderly, methodical, neat; you have your emotions 

well under control. 
Mar. I have! [Wildly,} Master, when I think of all you have done 

for me, I fall at your feet. I embrace your ankles. I hug your 

knees! [Doing so. 

Des. Hush. This is not well. This is calculated to provoke 

remark. Be composed, I beg! 
Mar. Ah! you are angry with poor little Mad Margaret! 


Des. No, not angry ; but a district visitor should learn to eschew 
melodrama. Visit the poor, by all means, and give them tea 
and barley-water, but don't do it as if you were administer- 
ing a bowl of deadly nightshade. It upsets them. Then when 
you nurse sick people, and find them not as well as could be 
expected, why go into hysterics? 

Mar. Why not? 

Des. Because it 's too jumpy for a sick room. 

Mar. How strange! Oh, Master! Master! how shall I express 
the all-absorbing gratitude that 

[About to throw herself at his feet. 

Des. Now ! [ Warningly. 

Mar. Yes, I know, dear it sha'n't occur again. [He is seated 
she sits on the ground by him.] Shall I tell you one of poor 
Mad Margaret's odd thoughts? Well, then, when I am lying 
awake at night, and the pale moonlight streams through the 
latticed casement, strange fancies crowd upon my poor mad 
brain, and I sometimes think that if we could hit upon some 
word for you to use whenever I am about to relapse some 
word that teems with hidden meaning like " Basingstoke" 
it might recall me to my saner self. For, after all, I am only 
Mad Margaret! Daft Meg! Poor Peg! He! he! he! 

Des. Poor child, she wanders! But soft someone comes Mar- 
garet pray recollect yourself Basingstoke, I beg! Margaret, 
if you don't Basingstoke at once, I shall be seriously angry. 

Mar. {Recovering herself .~\ Basingstoke it is! 

Des. Then make it so. 

Enter ROBIN. He starts on seeing them 

Rob. Despard! And his young wife! This visit is unexpected. 

Mar. Shall I fly at him? Shall I tear him limb from limb? Shall 
I rend him asunder? Say but the word and 

Des. Basingstoke! 

Mar. [Suddenly demure.] Basingstoke it is! 

Des. [Aside.] Then make it so. [Aloud.] My brother I call you 
brother, still, despite your horrible profligacy We have come 
to urge you to abandon the evil courses to which you have 
committed yourself, and at any cost to become a pure and 
blameless ratepayer. 


Rob. But I've done no wrong yet. 

Mar. {Wildly.} No wrong! He has done no wrong! Did you hear 

Des. Basingstoke! 

Mar. [Recovering herself .] Basingstoke it is! 

Des. My brother I still call you brother, you observe you for- 
get that you have been, in the eye of the law, a Bad Baronet 
of Ruddigore for ten years and you are therefore responsible 
in the eye of the law for all the misdeeds committed by the 
unhappy gentleman who occupied your place. 

Rob. I see ! Bless my heart, I never thought of that! Was I very bad? 

Des. Awful. Wasn't he? [To MARGARET.] 

Rob. And I've been going on like this for how long? 

Des. Ten years! Think of all the atrocities you have committed 
by attorney, as it were during that period. Remember how 
you trifled with this poor child's affections how you raised 
her hopes on high (don't cry my love Basingstoke, you know), 
only to trample them in the dust when they were at the very 
zenith of their fullness. Oh fie, sir, fie she trusted you! 

Rob. Did she? What a scoundrel I must have been! There, 
there don't cry, my dear [to MARGARET, who is sobbing on 
ROBIN'S breast], it's all right now. Birmingham, you know 

Mar. [Sobbing.] It's Ba Ba Basingstoke! 

Rob. Basingstoke! Of course it is Basingstoke. 

Mar. Then make it so ! 

Rob. There, there it 's all right he 's married you now that is, 
Pve married you [Turning to DESPARD] I say, which of us 
has married her? 

Des. Oh, fve married her. 

Rob. [Aside.] Oh, I'm glad of that. [To MARGARET.] Yes, he's 
married you now [passing her over to DESPARD], and anything 
more disreputable than my conduct seems to have been I've 
never even heard of. But my mind is made up I will defy my 
ancestors. I will refuse to obey their behests, and thus, by court- 
ing death, atone in some degree for the infamy of my career! 

Mar. I knew it I knew it God bless you [Hysterically. 

Des. Basingstoke! 

Mar. Basingstoke it is ! [Recovers herself. 




My eyes are fully open to my awful situation 
I shall go at once to Roderic and make him an oration. 
I shall tell him I've recovered my forgotten moral senses, 
And I don't care two-pence halfpenny for any consequences. 
Now I do not want to perish by the sword or by the dagger, 
But a martyr may indulge a little pardonable swagger, 
And a word or two of compliment my vanity would flatter, 
But I've got to die to-morrow, so it really doesn't matter! 
Des. So it really doesn't matter 

Mar. So it really doesn't matter 

All. So it really doesn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter! 


If I were not a little mad and generally silly 
I should give you my advice upon the subject, willy nilly; 
I should show you in a moment how to grapple with the question, 
And you'd really be astonished at the force of my suggestion. 
On the subject I shall write you a most valuable letter, 
Full of excellent suggestions when I feel a little better, 
But at present I'm afraid I am as mad as any hatter, 
So I'll keep 'em to myself, for my opinion doesn't matter! 
Des. Her opinion doesn't matter 

Rob. Her opinion doesn't matter 

All. Her opinion doesn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter! 


If I had been so lucky as to have a steady brother 
Who could talk to me as we are talking now to one another 
Who could give me good advice when he discovered I was erring, 
(Which is just the very favour which on you I am conferring), 
My story would have made a rather interesting idyll, 
And I might have lived and died a very decent indiwiddle. 
This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter 
Isn't generally heard, and if it is it doesn't matter! 
Rob. If it is it doesn't matter 

Mar. If it ain't it doesn't matter 

All. If it is it doesn't matter, matter, matter, matter, matter! 



Enter ADAM 

Adam. [Guiltily.} Master the deed is done! 

Rob. What deed? 

Adam. She is here alone, unprotected 

Rob. Who? 

Adam. The maiden. I've carried her off I had a hard task, for 
she fought like a tiger-cat! 

Rob. Great heaven, I had forgotten her! I had hoped to have died 
unspotted by crime, but I am foiled again and by a tiger-cat! 
Produce her and leave us! 
[ADAM introduces OLD HANNAH, -very much excited, and exit. 

Rob. Dame Hannah! This is this is not what I expected. 

Han. Well sir, and what would you with me? Oh, you have begun 
bravely bravely indeed! Unappalled by the calm dignity of 
blameless womanhood, your minion has torn me from my 
spotless home, and dragged me, blindfold and shrieking, 
through hedges, over stiles, and across a very difficult country, 
and left me, helpless and trembling at your mercy! Yet not 
helpless, coward sir, for approach one step nay, but the 
twentieth part of one poor inch and this poniard [produces a 
very small dagger] shall teach ye what it is to lay unholy hands 
on old Stephen Trusty's daughter! 

Rob. Madam, I am extremely sorry for this. It is not at all what 
I intended anything more correct more deeply respectful 
than my intentions towards you, it would be impossible for 
anyone however particular to desire. 

Han. Bah, I am not to be tricked by smooth words, hypocrite! 
But be warned in time, for there are, without, a hundred 
gallant hearts whose trusty blades would hack him limb from 
limb who dared to lay unholy hands on old Stephen Trusty's 
daughter ! 

Rob. And this is what it is to embark upon a career of unlicensed 
pleasure ! 

[HANNAH, who has taken a formidable dagger from one of 
the armed figures, throws her small dagger to ROBIN. 

Han. Harkye, miscreant, you have secured me, and I am your 
poor prisoner; but if you think I cannot take care of myself 


(p. .61) 


you are very much mistaken. Now then, it 's one to one, and 
let the best man win ! [Making for him. 

Rob. [In an agony of terror.} Don't! don't look at me like that! 
I can't bear it! Roderic! Uncle! Save me! 

RODERIC enters, from his picture. He comes down the stage 

Rod. What is the matter? Have you carried her off? 

Rob. I have she is there look at her she terrifies me! Come 
quite up and save me! 

Rod. [Looking at HANNAH.] Little Nannikin! 

Han. [Amazed.] Roddy-doddy! 

Rod. My own old love! Why how cameyozi here? 

Han. This brute he carried me off ! Bodily! But I'll show him ! 

[About to rush at ROBIN. 

Rod. Stop! [To ROB.] What do you mean by carrying off this 
lady? Are you aware that once upon a time she was en- 
gaged to be married to me? I'm very angry very angry 

Rob. Now I hope this will be a lesson to you in future, not 

Rod. Hold your tongue, sir. 

Rob. Yes, uncle. 

Rod. Have you given him any encouragement? 

Han. [To ROB.] Have I given you any encouragement? Frankly 
now, have I? 

Rob. No. Frankly, you have not. Anything more scrupulously 
correct than your conduct, it would be impossible to desire. 

Rod. You go away. 

Rob. Yes, uncle. [Exit ROBIN. 

Rod. This is a strange meeting after so many years! 

Han. Very. I thought you were dead. 

Rod. I am. I died ten years ago. 

Han. And are you pretty comfortable? 

Rod. Pretty well that is yes, pretty well. 

Han. You don't deserve to be, for I loved you all the while, dear, 
and it made me dreadfully unhappy to hear of all your goings 
on, you bad, bad boy ! 




Han. There grew a little flower 

'Neath a great oak tree: 
When the tempest 'gan to lower 

Little heeded she: 
No need had she to cower, 
For she dreaded not its power 
She was happy in the bower 
Of her great oak tree ! 
Sing hey, 
Lackaday ! 

Let the tears fall free 
For the pretty little flower and the great oak tree! 

Both. Sing hey, 

Lackaday, etc. 

Han. When she found that he was fickle, 

Was that great oak tree, 
She was in a pretty pickle, 

As she well might be 
But his gallantries were mickle, 
For Death followed with his sickle, 
And her tears began to trickle 
For her great oak tree ! 
Sing hey, 
Lackaday! etc. 

Said she, " He loved me never, 

Did that great oak tree, 
But I'm neither rich nor clever, 

And so why should he? 
But though fate our fortunes sever, 
To be constant I'll endeavour, 
Aye, for ever and for ever, 
To my great oak tree! " 
Sing hey, 
Lackaday! etc. 
[Falls weeping on RODERIC'S bosom. 


Enter ROBIN, excitedly, followed by all the characters and 

Chorus of Bridesmaids 
Rob. Stop a bit both of you. 
Rod. This intrusion is unmannerly. 
Han. I'm surprised at you. 
Rob. I can't stop to apologize an idea has just occurred to me. A 

Baronet of Ruddigore can only die through refusing to commit 

his daily crime. 
Rod. No doubt. 
Rob. Therefore, to refuse to commit a daily crime is tantamount 

to suicide ! 

Rod. It would seem so. 
Rob. But suicide is, itself, a crime and so, by your own showing, 

you ought never to have died at all ! 
Rod. I see I understand! Then I'm practically alive! 
Rob. Undoubtedly! [SiR RODERIC embraces HANNAH.] Rose, 

when you believed that I was a simple farmer, I believe you 

loved me? 

Rose. Madly, passionately! 
Rob. But when I became a bad baronet, you very properly loved 

Richard instead? 
Rose. Passionately, madly! 
Rob. But if I should turn out not to be a bad baronet after all, 

how would you love me then? 
Rose. Madly, passionately! 
Rob. As before? 
Rose. Why, of course! 

Rob. My darling! [They embrace. 

Rich. Here, I say, belay. 

Rose. Oh sir, belay, if it 's absolutely necessary. 
Rob. Belay? Certainly not! 


Rob. Having been a wicked baronet a week, 

Once again a modest livelihood I seek, 
Agricultural employment 
Is to me a keen enjoyment, 
For I'm naturally diffident and meek! 


Rose. When a man has been a naughty baronet, 

And expresses his repentance and regret, 
You should help him, if you're able, 
Like the mousie in the fable, 
That 's the teaching of my Book of Etiquette. 

Rich. If you ask me why I do not pipe my eye, 

Like an honest British sailor, I reply, 
That with Zorah for my missis, 
There'll be bread and cheese and kisses, 
Which is just the sort of ration I enjye ! 

Des. 6 Mar. Prompted by a keen desire to evoke, 

All the blessed calm of matrimony's yoke, 
We shall toddle off to-morrow, 
From this scene of sin and sorrow, 
For to settle in the town of Basingstoke! 

All. For happy the lily 

That 's kissed by the bee ; 
And, sipping tranquilly, 

Quite happy is he ; 
And happy the filly 

That neighs in her pride ; 
But happier than any, 
A pound to a penny, 
A lover is, when he 

Embraces his bride ! 


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